Young People

This is the place for young people (<18) to talk about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with other young people.


A guide for keeping safe whilst using our forums and the internet

Hi all, This is an appeal from the moderating team for all users to give some thought to the ways in which they communicate with other board members in private and/or in person, so that we can all remain a united, safe community and avoid any misunderstanding or upset that real-life encounters can create. Users of the boards can often gain confidence from posting online; to a large extent this is because we can feel protected and comfortably distant when we log in under our board names. The extra confidence gained in this way can sometimes give rise to situations in which users feel able to befriend or even flirt a little with other users, typically leading to exchanges of PMs, then phone numbers / text messages, then possible meetings. Unfortunately, personal encounters can be problematic, and we are aware of recent incidents in which both parties involved have been left emotionally hurt by meeting with people about whom they really didn't know all that much. The main difficulty with meeting in person is that both sides are really venturing into the unknown. We're all aware of the newsworthy dangers of internet-inspired meetings but there are other considerations to be given, even aside from the fundamental safety issues. On the boards, we all form impressions of the people with whom we share our thoughts. That's just human nature. However, if the impression of someone's personality combines favourably with an image shown in an online gallery, it can be all too easy to put two and two together to make five, and to create a very artificial sense of attraction. Many of you will have noticed that the OCD-UK members' gallery has recently been removed; this is because the charity is duty-bound to do all that it can to protect its members. Initially, the gallery was set up for users to share pictures of pets, holiday snaps etc. but it had grown and developed in a way that might have encouraged the type of approach described above. Meeting people in person is simply not the same as chatting online. When we meet, we're forced to sacrifice that "comfortable distance" and our true vulnerabilities inevitably become more exposed. The favourable image that one user has formed of another may be very different to that faced in real life, and this can result in disappointment, ill-feeling and emotional upset. This is something that none of us want to happen. It is important to stress that meeting fellow sufferers can be rewarding, moving, inspiring, even life-changing... but there is always "a time and a place". The moderating team would like to emphasise that time and place for those initial meetings should be conferences or other organised, well-attended events. By meeting en-masse, we have a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to lots of other sufferers in a relaxed, safe environment and we don't place the unnecessary burden of expectation on either ourselves or each other. The priority of the moderating team is to look after the well being and welfare of the whole of our online community. We cannot and will not be deflected from this aim, even if it necessitates making difficult and challenging decisions. In the event that you are ever approached in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, please contact the Moderating Team straight away. We're here to help. We have a great support network of hundreds of decent and well-intentioned people on the boards. Please assist the moderating team, and our community as a whole, by staying safe, staying happy (yes, the condition that we live with may try to contest that rule!) and staying united against OCD. Golden Rules - Do not give out personal information. - Don't let yourself be encouraged to discuss other subjects. - Avoid giving out your telephone/mobile, why would it be needed? - Do not accept the offer of gifts, even if its your birthday. - Be careful to avoid accepting the offer of help away from the board. - Avoid exchanging photographs.

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